Montreal Canadiens seasons have gotten off to good starts in the past and it didn’t lead to a long playoff run.
Last season, the Habs started 11-5-3, but they were 24th in the NHL standings by the time the pandemic wiped out the last month of the regular season. They started the previous season 11-6-3 but missed the playoffs. The 2016-17 season started with the Canadiens going 16-4-2 in the first quarter of the season, only to lose in six games in the first round of the playoffs. They were 13-2-1 to begin the 2015-16 season but somehow missed the playoffs by a wide margin.
The Habs are off to another great start this season, but it feels a lot different than their previous quick starts.
After 12 games, the Canadiens once again have an impressive record to begin a season. Their 8-2-2 record has them battling the Toronto Maple Leafs for first place in the Canadian Division and had them on top of the NHL standings before the Leafs defeated the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night.
Now, it’s been a bit of a weird year and there’s a reasonable chance that the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights would be way ahead of everyone if they didn’t have games cancelled, but to see the Canadiens battling for top spot clearly shows they are off to a great start.
Can they keep it going? Can they avoid struggling later in the season like we have seen from them in previous years? There are many reasons to believe they can, and here are the three biggest reasons the Canadiens will maintain their pace and be Stanley Cup contenders when the playoffs begin this season.